Augill Castle – Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria
Quirky and delightful, Augill Castle is a Victorian gentleman’s folly in the magnificent Eden Valley. It has all the trappings of a neo-Gothic castle – tower, castellations and mullions – but in miniature. Its wonderfully warm owners, Simon and Wendy Temple-Bennett, rescued it from dereliction and have created an award-winning and very special place to stay. It retains the atmosphere of a family home amid its vast rooms, with large fireplaces and antique furniture. There are 13 charmingly eclectic bedrooms, suites and houses spread across the estate. Those in the castle are more traditional – turrets for wardrobes, claw-foot baths, stained glass windows – while the estate houses feel more modern. The castle’s restaurant, The Music Room at Augill, is headed up by chef Justin Woods who serves contemporary British dishes with a local and seasonal twist. Meanwhile the Great British Bar champions small distillers, brewers and artisan producers from across the UK. This is also a splendidly unique place for a wedding: you have the castle to yourself and there’s no set formula.
Doubles from £180
+44 (0)1768 341937; stayinacastle.com